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Old 05-11-11, 10:26 AM   #1
tjspiel
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Would you be happy if 5 years from now 40% of the people in your town biked to work?

The "pack vs. rack" poll made me think of this. There's a more direct bike friendly route to work but I typically avoid it. Why? One reason that there are too many cyclists on it and it slows me down. I was thinking of taking it anyway to get a better sample for the poll, but I ended up not doing it because I was in a hurry.

On the one hand I'd be very pleased and proud if our city were to pull off such a major cultural shift. On the other hand, I might just hate commuting by bike in places like Amsterdam where they crawl along at 8 to 15 mph. I love being able to open it up and feel like I've gotten a good workout. And yes, I like feeling like I'm not just another sheep doing whatever everybody else does.

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Old 05-11-11, 10:44 AM   #2
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Good game management policies would become more important...I'd cut my bike commute to 4 days a week and use my truck to cull the herd on the fifth - it's the humane thing to do.
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Old 05-11-11, 10:52 AM   #3
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No! 40% of 212,375 is roughly 85,000 people. Irvine, CA has a lot of bike infrastructure, but I think that would overwhelm it. Never mind the cities around it that don't have the same level of infrastructure.

I'm like you, I like going fast and that good workout feeling. I can't stand going 10 mph, I feel like I'm going to fall. I just started averaging 16+ consistently.
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Old 05-11-11, 10:52 AM   #4
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I wouldn't like that many cyclists unless they close a few roads to car traffic. Having roads closed to cars would be cool.
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Old 05-11-11, 10:55 AM   #5
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When I read the title of this thread the first thought the came to mind was not no, but HELL NO!
Those people are idiots in cars---can you imagine how bad they would be on bikes?
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Old 05-11-11, 10:58 AM   #6
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Dodging idiots on bikes in the rest of the world can't be much harder than dodging college students here on campus... I could do it for the whole 23mi round trip easy. Bring it.

Maybe the cities would catch up and take away some auto lanes for bikes if the bike traffic increased that much that fast.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:00 AM   #7
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I understand your concern regarding more people commuting and less space to commute on. I would hope that as more people commute, the infrastructure would expand, or that bikes would just simply get more existing road.

Realistically the declining economy, the continual decline of the dollar and continued loss of jobs causes me not to place too much hope in increased infrastructure without further taxation, or toll roads. I saw yesterday where some group wants to donate $1000 bucks for more cycling roads. That's a nice gesture, but hardly a drop in the bucket for the cost of such a venture.

Overall it would be safer due to less cars. My fantasy world is no cars, but there are a lot of bad things that would have to happen for it to get there.



They pay 10.00/gallon in Europe and it doesn't seem to slow them down. But their cities are older and better designed for pedestrian and bike travel. Increased cost for gas is going to drive up the price on anything that is transported by vehicle-food, goods, services, etc.



Here in the US we have these stupid vehicle suburban community layouts where housing is designed to be far from work and the car takes up the slack. Drivers get mad at cyclists, and cyclists get mad at drivers, but neither one is the problem. It's what we've been given to work with is the problem.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:00 AM   #8
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I'd love to see this happen, just so I could begin passing a few of the newbies who'd hopefully be weak and wobbly. I'd give them all thumbs up, too, since I love seeing cyclists ride and I can't stand the multitude of cagers out there.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:12 AM   #9
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My guess is that if the percentage of bike commuters would increase by that much at minimum some of the lanes now used for car traffic would get re-striped for bike use. But congestion would inevitably increase to the point where it wouldn't be safe to ride at 20 mph anymore. It's already like that depending on where you ride.

It just brought to my attention an inconsistency in my world view. It sucks that so many people feel the need to drive even relatively short distances, but it would suck worse if they didn't.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:18 AM   #10
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I'd be ecstatic because if 40% of the people were on bikes they'd spill out of the bike lanes and into the auto lanes. This would slow the remaining cars down enough that it might be safe to bike near them. The glut of cyclists would be inconvenient, but racing in the Master C class at Cross Crusade has taught me how to pick my way through a slow moving crowd.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:20 AM   #11
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Yeah, of course I'd love it.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:25 AM   #12
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I'd be happy with 1%.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:30 AM   #13
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L.A. population 3.8 million.... no thanks.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:33 AM   #14
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on my way home on chicago's lakefront bike path yesterday, it was stupid congested because of the nice summer-like weather. i started counting bikes and got bored after i reached 500 halfway through. it is annoying not being able to do 20mph+, but that's life when there are thousands of cyclists and tens of thousands of joggers/dog walkers clogging up the only north-south off-street MUP in the city.

if 40% of chicago started bike commuting, the lakefront trail would simply become a parking lot at rush hour just like our expressways. VAST amounts of new bike infrastructure would need to be implemented if such a thing were to come to pass. though given chicago's winters and the fact that the vast majority of chicagons are complete weather pansies, i don't think we could ever even hope to have 4% of chicagoans commuting year round on bikes, much less 40%. most chicagoans won't even go outside unless it's over 50 degrees because they are total wussies who seem to have absolutely no blood circulation. there's a reason that half the city has moved to phoenix over the past 3 decades. chicagoans must be soft on a genetic level. as a 6th generation chicagoan, i have no idea how the hell i turned out the way i did.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:45 AM   #15
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The other thing we would need to get that high of a percentage rate is real turn signals and brake lights.

I wish I at least had brake lights now. Does anyone know of any such thing?

Another thought:

Can you imagine the road rage with increased cyclists?

Instead of honking at each other, all you'd have to do is reach out and punch someone!
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Old 05-11-11, 11:46 AM   #16
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Absolutely. Every new cyclist would be one less car (for the most part) so traffic should decrease. Plus 40% riding would give car drivers a real headache. Can you imagine trying to speed up & pull around a cyclist, only to slow down again, then have to do it all over again, multiple times on a drive? It might actually push some other drivers to cycle. It would force city planners to think of cyclists in their transportation plans & force some changes to the current state of things.

Also, there's the higher user base would definitely create a cycling friendly economy. There would be more bike shops, bike racks, etc & less hassle going though drive throughs.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:47 AM   #17
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My city has a lot of local jobs downtown, but also a lot of crime. I am going to try to negotiate with my local bar to add a bike rack in the secured area; downtown there's an entire block you can't approach without passing through guards, no backpacks, etc. There's an area off at the end that is worthless, no traffic, no use. I want a bike rack there, or a bike locker; bike lockers would be better, because some of us will show up with CamelBaks and there's a "No Backpack" policy so yeah... but they can direct you (with your bike) to the bike locker and also mind you to stash your pack in it.

Given that most people working downtown live within 3-5 miles of their job, and most people working uptown live within 3-5 miles of their job, I would enjoy seeing these demographics bike to work. What I find fascinating, though, is that there's a demographic of extremely low end workers (janitors, bathroom attendants, bar tenders in seedy bars) that live in a low-income area outside the city and work inside the city... 6.5 miles away, which is nothing. Of course, one of them walked home at 2am; a cop stopped her and drove her home because she was about 95% likely to get raped and murdered by the time she made it half way. I've had bullets fired around me on my way home from that bar; I found a route that immediately gets on the highway and gets off right by my house after that.

In any case, I don't expect everyone working in business park areas to bike. There's a 30 mile air gap between the urban residential zone and the commercial/industrial business parks. It costs 3 times as much to live within 5 miles of work as it does to live 30 miles away; a car just makes sense when you have a 50mph average speed highway shot (rush hour is only sluggish coming home).

I'd rather see subrail trains that allow bike carry on: last mile to the station in the res zone, plow under the highway at 150mph to bypass the traffic and come out in the commercial zone. Every 7-10 miles, there should be a train station. You can always get within 5 miles of your destination, you're within 5 miles of the train station. The stops are 10 miles apart, rather than the twice a block bus stops; I mean imagine if the train station is more than 5 blocks away, who would ride? And even then, train stops and goes too much.

Hmm... public transit... I should add that to my political profile. Not that I'll ever run, and I'll certainly never get elected if I do; but a good, well-engineered public transit system is a bit more complex than "trains and busses" ... it seems to work with the transportation system (park-and-ride, bike carry on, etc).
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Old 05-11-11, 11:48 AM   #18
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It saddens me to see so many people who think that a 40% increase would require more cycling specific infrastructure. We already have the infrastructure we need, they are called roads...and there won't be nearly as many motor vehicles on them. Frugal people make due with what they have.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:51 AM   #19
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I think the only way that would happen would be if I move to Denmark, or if gas hits $35 a gallon.

Would I be happy? Sure. If the roads can support as many cars as we have now, then bikes should be a breeze. I think riding would probably be safer as motorists would be forced to accept cyclists, but that we would also see bike theft increase.
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Old 05-11-11, 12:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
My guess is that if the percentage of bike commuters would increase by that much at minimum some of the lanes now used for car traffic would get re-striped for bike use. But congestion would inevitably increase to the point where it wouldn't be safe to ride at 20 mph anymore. It's already like that depending on where you ride.
If 40 % of Seattle was biking to work and other places, starting to morrow, they wouldn't tear up the existing road system and re-use the land for parks and housing. It would stay there as road. I don't even think they'd re-stripe it. It would just be a matter of today's busy arterials looking more like quiet residential streets. People would still use them, but there would be fewer cars. As cyclists, we already coexist on the roads with cars; we'd just have less of them around. That might change, long term, but would take a generation or more.

Also, I don't know what percent of the city uses public transit, but I imagine cyclists will grow our ranks mostly from drivers, and less from bus riders. So I would expect the streets to be pretty empty in the scene you're painting. And I think that means you could hammer along in your 53x11 without much to worry about.
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Old 05-11-11, 12:04 PM   #21
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It saddens me to see so many people who think that a 40% increase would require more cycling specific infrastructure. We already have the infrastructure we need, they are called roads...and there won't be nearly as many motor vehicles on them. Frugal people make due with what they have.
+1

The few bike lanes around here wouldn't be necessary. The reduction in car-traffic would make this easy.
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Old 05-11-11, 12:06 PM   #22
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I'd be happy with 0.1%. 0.01% would be a big increase.

Anywhere wher ridership got that big, they'd repaint lanes. On that scale infrastructure might actually get cheaper, because they could just cede an entire lane to bikes instead of having to widen and repaint.
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Old 05-11-11, 12:09 PM   #23
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I'd be happy with 0.1%. 0.01% would be a big increase.

Anywhere wher ridership got that big, they'd repaint lanes. On that scale infrastructure might actually get cheaper, because they could just cede an entire lane to bikes instead of having to widen and repaint.
Bike Lanes would have a whole new meaning...they'd no longer be nothing more than glorified shoulders, but actual existing MV lanes!
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Old 05-11-11, 12:14 PM   #24
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It would be a very good thing if bike commuting increased. There's no down side to less cars on the road. Perhaps we could even get rid of a few of these gonzo bikers.
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Old 05-11-11, 12:41 PM   #25
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The Law of Large Numbers would prevail.
We'd need a new forum on how to cope with the multitude of clueless cyclists who put themselves and the rest of us in danger. Critical mass would achieve an entirely new dimension. Lawlessness and civil disobedience would run rampant. Total chaos.... sigh.... Total chaos....
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